In arid and semiarid regions where water is the main limiting factor, water redistribution is regarded as an important hydrological process of great ecological value. By providing additional water to certain loci, moist pockets of great productivity are formed, characterized by high plant biomass and biological activity. These moist pockets are often a result of runon. Yet, although runoff may take place on semi-flat undulating surfaces, runoff measurements are thus far confined to slopes, where a sufficient gradient facilitates downslope water harvesting. On undulating surfaces of mounds and depressions, such as in interdunes, no quantification of the amount of water reaching depressions is feasible due to the fact that no reliable method for measuring the runoff amounts in semi-flat terrains is available. The current paper describes specific runoff plots, designed to measure runoff in depressions (sinks). These plots, termed sink plots (SPs), were operative in the Hallamish dunefield (Negev Desert, Israel). The paper presents measurements of runoff yield that were carried out between January 2013 and January 2014 on SPs and compared them to runoff obtained from crusted slope plots and fine-grained (playa) surfaces. The potential hydrological and ecological implications of water redistribution within semi-flat terrains for this and other arid ecosystems are discussed.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
Bertoni J. Larson W.E. Shrader W.D. 1958. Determination of infiltration rates on Marshall silt loam from runoff and rainfall records. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc. 22 571-575.
Blackburn W.H. 1975. Factors influencing infiltration and sediment production of semiarid range lands in Nevada. Water Resour. Res. 11 929-937.
Breckle S.-W. Yair A. Veste M. (Eds.) 2008. Arid Dune Ecosystems-The Nizzana Sands in the Negev Desert. Ecological Studies 200 Springer Berlin Heidelberg New York.
Brooks M.L. 2003. Effects of increased soil nitrogen on dominance of alien annual plants in the Mojave Desert. J. Appl. Ecol. 40 344-353.
Cantón Y. Domingo F. Sole-Benet A. Puigdefábregas J. 2002. Influence of soil-surface types on the overall runoff of the Tabernas badlands (south-east Spain): field data and model approaches. Hydrol. Process. 16 2621-2643.
Cerdà A. 1997. The effect of patchy distribution of Stipa tenacissima L. on runoff and erosion. J. Arid Environ. 36 37-51.
Cerdà A. 1998. The influence of aspect and vegetation on seasonal changes in erosion under rainfall simulation on a clay soil in Spain. Can. J. Soil Sci. 78 321-330.
Dunkerley D. 2012. Effects of rainfall intensity fluctuations on infiltration and runoff: rainfall simulation on dryland soils Fowlers Gap Australia. Hydrol. Process. 26 2211-2224.
Eckstein R.L. 2005. Differential effects of interspecific interactions and water availability on survival growth and fecundity of three congeneric grassland herbs. New Phytol. 166 525-536.
Evenari M. 1981. Ecology of the Negev Desert a critical review of our knowledge. In: Shuval H. (Ed.): Developments in Arid Zone Ecology and Environmental Quality. Balaban ISS Philadelphia pp. 1-33.
Fischer T. Yair A. Veste M. 2012. Microstructure and hydraulic properties of biological soil crusts on sand dunes: a comparison between arid and temperate climate. Biogeosciences Discussions 9 12711-12734.
Kidron G.J. 1999. Differential water distribution over dune slopes as affected by slope position and microbiotic crust Negev Desert Israel. Hydrol. Process. 13 1665-1682.
Kidron G.J. 2011. Runoff generation and sediment yield on homogeneous dune slopes: scale effect and implications for analysis. Earth Surf. Process. Landf. 36 1809-1824.
Kidron G.J. Benenson I. 2014. Biocrusts serve as biomarkers for the upper 30 cm soil water content. Journal of Hydrology 509 398-405.
Kidron G.J. Gutschick V. 2013. Soil moisture correlates with shrub-grass association in the Chihuahuan Desert. Catena 107 71-79.
Kidron G.J. Vonshak A. 2012. The use of microbiotic crusts as biomarkers for ponding subsurface flow and soil moisture content and duration. Geoderma 181-182 56-64.
Kidron G.J. Yair A. 1997. Rainfall-runoff relationships over encrusted dune surfaces Nizzana western Negev Israel Earth Surf. Process. Landf. 22 1169-1184.
Kidron G.J. Yaalon D.H. Vonshak A. 1999. Two causes for runoff initiation on microbiotic crusts: hydrophobicity and pore clogging. Soil Sci. 164 18-27.
Kidron G.J. Yair A. Vonshak A. Abeliovich A. 2003. Microbiotic crust control of runoff generation on sand dunes in the Negev Desert. Water Resour. Res. 39 1108.
Kidron G.J. Vonshak A. Dor I. Barinova S. Abeliovich A. 2010. Properties and spatial distribution of microbiotic crusts in the Negev Desert. Catena 82 92-101.
Kidron G.J. Monger H.C. Vonshak A. Conrod W. 2012. Contrasting effects of microbiotic crusts on runoff in desert surfaces. Geomorphology 139-140 484-494.
Lange O.L. Kidron G.J. Büdel B. Meyer A. Killian E. Abeliovich A. 1992. Taxonomic composition and photosynthetic characteristics of the "biological soil crusts" covering sand dunes in the Western Negev Desert. Functional Ecology 6 519-527.
Li X.J. Li X.R. Song W.M. Gao Y.P. Zheng J.G. Jia R.L. 2008. Effects of crust and shrub patches on runoff sedimentation and related nutrient (C N) redistribution in the desertified steppe zone of the Tengger Desert Norhern China. Geomorphology 96 221-223.
Li X.Y. 2003. Gravel-sand mulch for soil and water conservation in the semiarid loess region of northwest China. Catena 52 105-127.
Malam Issa O. Valentin C. Rajot J.L. Cerdan O. Desprats J.-F. Bouchet T. 2011. Runoff generation fostered by physical and biological crusts in semi-arid sandy soils. Geoderma 167-168 22-29.
Mazor G. Kidron G.J. Vonshak A. Abeliovich A. 1996. The role of cyanobacterial exopolysaccharides in structuring desert microbial crusts. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 21 121-130.
McFadden L.D. McDonald E.V. Wells S.G. Anderson K. Quade J. Forman S.L. 1998. The vesicular layer and carbonate collars of desert soils and pavements: formation age and relation to climate change. Geomorphology 24 101-145.
Moore B.G. Tischer R.G. 1964. Extracellular polysaccharides of alga: effects on life-support systems. Science 145 586.
Neave M. Abrahams A.D. 2002. Vegetation influences on water yields from grasslands and shrubland ecosystems in the Chihuahuan Desert. Earth Surf. Process. Landf. 27 1011-1020.
Noy-Meir I. 1973. Desert ecosystems: environment and producers. Annu. Rev. Ecol. System. 5 25-51.
Pockman W.T. Sperry J.S. 2000. Vulnerability to xylem cavitation and the distribution of Sonoran Desert vegetation. Am. J. Bot. 87 1287-1299.
Rodriguez-Caballero E. Cantón Y. Chamizo S. Afana A. Solé-Benet A. 2012. Effects of biological soil crusts on surface roughness and implications for runoff and erosion. Geomorphology 145-146 81-89.
Rosenan N. Gilad M. 1985. Atlas of Israel. Meteorological data sheet IV/2. Jerusalem (Israel) Carta.
Rostagno C.M. 1989. Infiltration and sediment production as affected by soil surface conditions in a shrubland of Patagonia Argentina. J. Range Manag. 42 382-385.
Schlesinger W. Ward T.J. Anderson J. 2000. Nutrient losses in runoff from grassland and shrubland habitats in southern New Mexico: II. Field plots. Biogeochemistry 49 69-86.
Siegal Z. Tsoar H. Karnieli A. 2013. Effects of prolonged drought on the vegetation cover of sand dunes in the NW Negev Desert: Field survey remote sensing and conceptual modeling. Aeolian Res. 9 161-173.
Tadmor N.H. Shanan L. 1969. Runoff Inducement in an arid region by removed vegetation. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 33 790-794.
Valentin C. Bresson L.-M. 1992. Morphology genesis and classification of surface crusts in loamy and sandy soils. Geoderma 55 225-245.
Veste M. Breckle S.-W. Eggert K. Littmann T. 2011.
Vegetation pattern in arid sand dunes controlled by biological soil crusts along a climatic gradient in the northern Negev Desert. Basic Appl. Dryland Res. 5 1-16.
Yair A. Lavee H. 1985. Runoff generation in arid and semiarid zones. In: Anderson M.G. Burt T.P. (Eds.): Hydrological Forecasting. John Wiley & Sons. Chichester. pp. 183-220.
Yu J. Kidron G.J. Pen-Mouratov S. Wasserstrom H. Barnes G. Steinberger Y. 2012. Do development stages of biological soil crusts determine activity and functional diversity in a sand-dune ecosystem? Soil Biol. Biochem. 51 66-72.